Musée Picasso Reopening Delayed… Again

The opening of Paris’s Musée Picasso, which was to end a five-year refurbishment in September has been delayed for yet another month, the AFP reports. The museum’s inauguration has now been pushed back to October 25, France’s Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti announced on Monday. It now also coincides with the 133rd anniversary of Picasso’s birth. Filippetti stated that the delay was to assure “good security conditions” for the works.

Over the course of a controversial term, president Anne Baldassari led the ambitious refurbishment project at the museum, pushing back the inauguration several times. Baldassari was dismissed from her position in May due to a much-criticized working environment and managerial style. She was replaced by the director of the Pompidou-Metz, Laurent Le Bon, earlier this month. Nonetheless, Baldassari has been offered the opportunity to curate the collection for the opening.

The repeated delays have led to a much higher bill for the project and have brought controversy upon the museum and skepticism regarding its future. The refurbishment of the 17th-century baroque mansion will now cost €52 million ($71 million), €22 million higher than anticipated. The scope of the work has also changed: the 3,800 square meter exhibition space will be more than doubled upon completion.

The museum houses one of the most extensive collections of Picasso’s work in the world, of around 5,000 pieces and documents. The artist’s son, Claude Picasso has said that he is “scandalized and very worried,” about the future of the institution. He comments, “I have the impression that France doesn’t care about my father, and about me either.”

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